Saturday 12 September 2020


The Four Feathers (1939) - Rote colonial bull loved by grandads. 

Let The people Sing (1942) - Routine British comedy with Fred Emney and Alastair Sim.

I Know Where I'm Going!, (1945) - I thought I did. 

The Shop at Sly Corner (1947) - Rote Scotland Yarder with Oskar Homolka. 

Lady Godiva Rides Again (1951) - An all-star cast  (Dennis price,  Stanley Holloway, Kay Kendall, George Cole, Diana Dors, Eddie Byrne, Renee Houston, Richard Wattis, Sid James, Michael Ripper plus uncredited appearances from alastair Sim and Trevor Howard in cameo, and the likes of Dana Wynter, Anne Heywood, joan Collins, Jean Marsh and Ruth Ellis as the beauty pageant contestants) in this comedy that captures the world of Workers' Playtime and one-channel British television. 

The Quiet Man (1952) - The albatross hung around Ireland's neck. Best watched in a restored print, or else it'll like look like Trucolor, even though for once Republic did the full Technicolor on a film. An ad for Lyon's Tea and Wills' Gold Flake helps establish some authenticity. Yes, I know Wills is British, but still, at least it's not an American brand. if only it had been Wills' notorious Strand range, but that wasn't established until 1959. 

The Ladykillers (1955) - Darker than one expects. 

The Court Jester (1956) - Danny Kaye at his fantastical best.

Les Violents (1957) - Rote Paul Meurisse rougher. 

Dead Lucky (1960) - Rote british quickie with John le Mesurier. 

Two Way Stretch (1960) - Sellers, Cribbins, Denham and Jeffries do Porridge. Typical charming if not exactly rib-tickling 60s comedy. 

Les Petits Matins (1962) - Arletty, Blier, Brialy, Ventura, Becaud, Gravey, Gelin, Hossein, Noel-Noel, Aznavour  in what feels likea  French beach party lick 

Blague dans le coin (1963) Fernandel vehicle. Like any other.

Avec la peau des autres (1966) - Rote Lino Ventura trenchcoater with Coca Cola product placement  See also Sursis Pour Un Vivant (1959)

The Virgin Soldiers (1968)  - Typical 60s army comedy, but with a marvellous cast. Hywel Bennett, Lynn Redgrave, Nigel Davenport, Nigel Patrick, Rachel Kempson, Christopher Timothy, Lord Melbury, Christopher Timothy, "and james Cosmo", a discomfortingly attractive Geoffrey Hughes, Wayne Sleep, and an uncredited turn fro a young actor named David Jones. Bowie's appearance in a bar behind Shelley and Onslow, a literal blink-and-miss is like a hidden message from the future. 

igorota (1968) - Bizarre Filipino tropical erotica.

Stoney (1968) - Ropey but surprisingly nice looking Filipino actioner with Barbara Bouchet, Mike  Preston, Michael Rennie and Richard Jaeckel. 

Daddy's Gone a Hunting (1969) - Overlong studio-glossy but empty melodrama told over a number of years, with Carol White (playing a character called Cathy - so technically this can be seen as a sequel to Cathy Come Home - what happens when she abandoned Ray Brooks and her kids) arriving in the US with a Union Jack bag, falling in love with Scott Hylands, getting an abortion, driving him into a mad killer. There's a soap opera-y, Transatlantic tripe feel. Cathy marries Paul Burke, has a child and  now outraged Scott Hylands is determined to kill mother and child in revenge for the death of his own child. 

And God Said to Cain (1970) - Memorable at times horror western with klaus Kinski. Unusually solid looking village sets. 

Brain of Blood (1971) - Being Al Adamson, a special kind of terrible. Set in a supposed south Asian country with white actors without any makeup using their own accents, but dressed in karakuls and a postcard representing a palace exterior. Angelo Rossitto in a tam o'shanter is the sinister sidekick. Features Khalid Television and an ending that makes no sense. 

Get Carter (1971) - It is in many ways a perfect film. Even if it can be too grim, there's just the details that rivet. 

The Jesus Trip (1971) - Grim biker/nun teamup with a emroably hautningly angelic Tippy Walker as the heroic nun. 

La Scoumoune (1972) - Belmondo and Cardinale in a routine 30s Gallic gangster vehicle with an island prison interlude. 

Sweet Sugar (1972) - the incidental music used in this faux-Filipino women in prison plantation quickie is the same that soundtracked the Dave Nice Deptford Draylons ad.

A Full Day's Work (1973) - bonkers Wacky Races-ish assassin on a motorbike comedy directed by Jean Louis Trintignant, with an uncharacteristically jolly Bruno Nicolai score. 

Don't Just Lie There Say Something (1975) - Typical Rix farce. Even Derek Griffiths MBE wasn't immune from the curse of BAME actors of being billed lower than their role dictates.

Costar Peter Bland was also in the amiable NZ comedy Came A Hot Friday (1985)

Operation Lady Marlene (1975) - Allo Allo-ish antics with Michel Serrault.

Dolemite (1975) - Interesting but baffling Rudy Ray Moore vehicle. 

Slade in Flame (1975) - Some kind of masterpiece.

Don's Party (1976) - interesting Aussie drama set amongst the changeover of government. 

The Likely Lads (1976) - Along with Porridge, being a Clement/le Frenais production, the two sitcom films that feel like proper films. I like this less than Porridge, maybe because the Likely Lads sitcom I've never really been interested in, but it's still a decent film. And proper 70s shops. Timpson's! 

The Stud (1978) - pornographic disco muzak. 

Meteor (1979) - I quite enjoy the batshit scale of it. Shaw/AIP nonsense at its best. 

Scum (1979) - Harsh but accurate title. 

Boardwalk (1979) - A peculiar film, begins as a light dramedy with Lee Strasberg and Ruth Gordon as an old Jewish couple who watch the Price is Right, but then turns into a gang-attack movie, and eventually pre-empts Death Wish III in its story of old Jews fighting against Hispanic gangs.

When You Coming Back, Red Ryder? (1979) - Bleak, unusual, confusing southern drama with Marjoe Gortner as auteur-star, and a curiously miscast Peter Firth with a black quiff, plus Candy Clark, Lee Grant, Hal Linden and Pat Hingle and the Andy Williams Show..

Kamakalawa (1981) - Epic if  overlong but likeably ambiitous Filipino fantasy from Eddie Romero.

Spaghetti House (1982) - Starring Nino Manfredi, Rudolph Walker, "special guest appearance" from Rita Tushingham "and Derek Martin", while David Burke, Renato Scarpa and John Woodvine are listed in alphabetical block. Seeing two members of the cast in EastEnders in lead roles with solo billing in an Italian actioner (albeit written by Peter Barnes and shot in England) is nice. It feels nasty in an Italian way, like a dirtier version of Juggernaut. however, the best thing about is Walker. Despite a CBE for his  services to drama and charity and his twenty year run in EastEnders, Walker is still an underrated presence. He is both terrifying and terrified. He succeeeds  in being both threatening and yet likeably  sympathetic enough so that eventually he can soften and become friends with Manfredi's character. He looks genuinely scared at times of his own actions, while Nino Manfredi and his Italians play for wacky comedy. In a just world, Walker would have had a long career in Italian pictures, or at least would have been given better roles in British films. As it was, this was never released in Britain.  Features such 80s sights as punks outside a Ladbrokes and ads for Lyon's Maid.

Two of a Kind (1983) - Travolta and Newton John let Heaven wait. 

Savage Dawn (1984) - routine biker fare.

After Hours (1985) - Scorsese can't do zany without feeling bleak. 

De Ja Vu (1985) - Boring british Cannon ballerina reincarnation drama with Jaclyn Smith, Shelley Winters, Nigel Terry and Claire Bloom, set at the Daily Mail offices. 

Codename Emerald (1985) - TV WW2 hokum that got a theatrical release.

Gtohic (1986) - Ken Russell on autopilot. Feels like it was shot in wicklow thanks to Gabriel Byrne and Benjy Riordan. Very indebted visually to Women in Love (1969)

The Pink chiquitas (1987) - SCTV-related Frank Stallone retro sf chintz.

Rita, Sue and Bob Too (1987) - The girls watch Madness on telly. Tyical 80s grimy council house film on four. Find it odd to say but Kulvinder Ghir was pretty when he was a young lad. 

Masquerade (1988) - Typical bland 80s thriller. Nice if entirely generic John Barry soundtrack that fuses Frances and The Legend of the lone Ranger. 

Dans le Ventre du Dragon (1989) - Very strange Gilliam-meets-Cronenberg Quebecois mad science. 

Grim Prairie Tales (1990) - James Earl Jones and Brad Dourif in Western Tales from the Darkside. 

Assassin of the Tsar (1991) - boring Soviet mental illness drama with Malcolm McDowell. 

Warlock II - The Armageddon (1993) - Ambitious, interesting opening but goes into blanderama 90s horror territory.

Dazed and Confused (1993) - Certainly.

Brainscan (1994) - If the West Memphis Three was a Goosebumps episode. about the dangers of full-motion-video games. 

Snake Eyes (1995) - Rubbishy De Palma on autopilot. 

 Orphans (1998) - RoutineScots black comedy, with Peter  Mullan directing.

love liza (2002) - Indie dramedy with Kathy Bates and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Satan's Little Helper (2004) - Terrible load of shite. Katheryn Winnick here a dead ringer for Ivanka Trump. 

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